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Case Study: Apparel Industry

The Client

This client in the apparel industry supplies uniforms and facilities products and services that enhance the image and safety of customers in more than 160,000 facilities.

Background

Starting out as a small, family-owned dye house in 1902, the company now has more than 110 years of experience in the industry, employing 9,000 people throughout North America and providing corporate-identity apparel and facility services programs to a variety of industrial, service, and high-technology companies.

The company’s goal was to maintain high standards and dedication to excellence while increasing the performance of their Territory Sales Representatives. Territory Sales Representatives are on the front line of the company’s sales efforts, responsible for working with industrial, manufacturing, and service clients to meet their immediate needs as well as for selling long-term contracts.

The Business Challenge

Caliper conducted a study for this client to develop a benchmark that pinpointed the traits of successful Territory Sales Representatives. While the client had successfully used this benchmark over the years to help them hire and develop top performers, their business model had changed and they wanted to confirm that Caliper was still identifying the right people and that they were hiring the best candidates.

In addition, having invested many years in working with Caliper, they wanted to make sure they were getting a return on their investment.

The Strategic Solution

With the client’s cooperation, Caliper proposed to re-evaluate the benchmark using performance and personality data on file. With a total of 120 Territory Sales Representatives represented, Caliper combined the data from the original benchmark with data from more recent assessments and analyzed it to determine if the traits originally identified as required for success in the Territory Sales Representatives role were still indicators of success.

Moreover, Caliper conducted an audit of its own job-matching recommendations to determine if they were in line with the results of the last benchmark.

Caliper also reviewed the hiring practices of the client’s managers and discovered that managers had hired more than 40 people against Caliper’s recommendation. Most of these hires did not work out. While Caliper advises clients to make their hiring decisions based on all available information about a candidate, not just the Caliper Profile, it was unusual to see so many people being hired who were not recommended. More importantly, the results suggested that the hiring managers were missing important clues during the interview process that could have helped them make better hiring decisions.

A Return on Investment (ROI) study was conducted to determine revenue impact of the validation study. To do this, Caliper compared the performance of candidates who were recommended versus those who had not been recommended, but were still hired, to determine the difference in average sales.

The Results

The new ROI study confirmed that the traits previously identified as critical for success in a Territory Sales Representative role were still essential. In addition, new findings showed that the people who had a strong desire for guidelines, direction, and rules did not perform well in the role. By incorporating this new information into their existing benchmark, the client further enhanced their ability to consistently hire top performers.

The ROI analysis also indicated that candidates who were recommended by Caliper and hired by the client increased weekly average sales by 19.9% in Year 1 and 37.7% in Year 2, versus candidates who were not recommended but still hired.

Over the course of two years, the average per-person difference in Annualized Sales was $64,253.28 (See Table 1). For the 50 people who were recommended, that equates to $3.2 million in contracts.

Table 1: Return on Investment Analysis Illustrating Average Sales for Individuals who were Matched vs. Not Matched

Matched vs. Not Matched

  • Matched (n=50)
  • Not Matched (n=22)
  • Difference per Person

Year 1

  • $165,998
  • $138,498
  • $27,499

Year 2

  • $134,134
  • $97,380
  • $36,753

When hiring against Caliper’s recommendations, only 3 of the 22 individuals exceeded the client’s weekly sales goal. Therefore, the model is essential to hiring high-potential Territory Sales Representative candidates.

In light of these results, hiring managers were retrained on using structured interview guidelines as well as on correctly and consistently using the client’s benchmark and the Caliper Profile.